10Best hotels in Fort Myers and surrounding beaches and islands

Recognized as a destination for both tourism and business, Fort Myers and the surrounding Gulf Coast Islands offer a wide range of hotels to meet the varied standards and desires of discerning visitors.

If you looking to unplug and unwind in a tranquil island atmosphere try South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, a historic property that offers tennis, golf, private beaches, boating and excellent dining.

Or if you’re more interested in the city scene, then choose the brand new Luminary Hotel in Fort Myers’ downtown River District. The Beacon rooftop bar is a new hot spot. With a view of the water, it is convent to the Caloosa Sound Convention Center and downtown nightlife. 

As the weather up north gets cooler, tourism heats up in the Fort Myers area. Peak season ranges from November to April, with a spike in March, when spring breakers are flocking to the beaches and filling up waterfront properties like the sprawling Pink Shell Beach Resort on Fort Myers Beach. At the same time, spring training season with the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins brings in hordes of baseball fans. During these peak times, hotel rates go up and it is advisable to reserve your rooms well in advance.


Diamondhead Beach Resort and Spa
Photo courtesy of DiamondHead Beach Resort

Located in the heart of Fort Myers Beach and on the Gulf of Mexico, Diamondhead offers a variety of water sports and fantastic sunset views. Relax under the thatch roof at Cabana's Beach Bar & Grille, adorned with flat-screen TV's behind the bar or enjoy beach seating, under colorful umbrellas. More upscale dining is also available indoors. Diamondhead loves kids and has numerous activities to keep them occupied including an activity room, art projects and exciting Hermit Crab Races. Families can play volleyball and corn hole on the beach. If staring at the waves from the balcony of your well-maintained room is not enough relaxation, the hotel has a full-service spa to make sure even that last little bit of stress gets left behind.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: A fantastic location on Fort Myers Beach with lots of family activities, water sports, spa services and delicious dining, make DiamondHead a top choice.

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Holiday Inn Ft. Myers Airport-Town Center
Photo courtesy of Holiday Inn

This hotel is ideally situated for visitors who want to be close to the airport (two miles) but still have convenient access to other great Fort Myers offerings. Located just off of I-75 the Inn is right across the street from one of the hottest areas for shopping, dining and nightlife; Gulf Coast Town Center. It's also an ideal location if your trip to the area takes you to Florida Gulf Coast University, or Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins Spring Training games. Although not at the beach, it overlooks a large lake and has a refreshing pool. Guests can enjoy a fire pit, a restaurant and lounge where there is often live music, and a free shuttle that services select golf courses among other things. Expect the typical business amenities and a fitness center to burn those vacation calories.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: One of the best hotels for travels who want to be close to it all: the airport, Spring Training stadiums, shopping and dining.

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Sanibel Island
Casa Ybel Resort
Photo courtesy of Casa Ybel Resort

Found on 23 acres of beachfront property, this resort offers wondrous views of the Gulf of Mexico, along with well-appointed rooms. These one and two-bedroom condos come fully equipped, including WiFi if you just have to stay connected. A full kitchen allows you to make your favorite romantic or family dinners. Even better, let the expert chefs here prepare something special at one of two, waterfront dining spots. Enjoy the wine room at the beautiful Thistle Lodge or BBQ poolside. Spa services can be booked privately in your room as well as seaside. Get active at the five tennis courts, a heated swimming pool and shuffleboard courts. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and although the resort is slightly off the beaten path, it is still a quick bike ride to shopping and nature preserves.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Tranquil and picturesque, Casa Ybel has the right amount of activities, delicious dining and just close enough to the "real world."

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This stately resort is situated just off Sanibel Island, on 80 acres with a view of San Carlos Bay. Sporting both indoor and outdoor swimming pools as well as children's programs, babysitting, 13 tennis courts, and full spa activities, you shouldn't have a hard time finding something to do here. Walk to the spa through the mangroves, on a shady boardwalk, spotting all kinds of native plants and wildlife along the way. Enjoy yoga on the beach in the morning and at night, cocktails on "Charley's" terrace, or a sunset dinner cruise leaving from the resort's dock. The 320 rooms come with all of the amenities one would expect, there are even suites and condos on the property if you desire more space.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This comfortable, waterfront resort has fantastic dining, exquisite spa services and a variety of entertainment.

Read more about Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa →

'Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa
Photo courtesy of 'Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa

An historic Captiva Island property and longtime favorite of multiple generations, Tween Waters Inn and Resort stretches from beach to bay. While the main hotel rooms are comfortable, visitors who want a special room book one of the historic cottages; the Lindbergh being among the most popular. These nostalgic one bedroom accommodations feature screened in lanais, surrounded by sea grapes and native vegetation as well as full kitchens and other amenities. There's no need to ever leave this resort: it has beaches, restaurants, bars, entertainment, tennis courts, a spa, and a pool big enough to accommodate not only the guests but the locals who often arrive by boat to drink and dine. The beach is a short stroll across the islands main road, but traffic almost always moves slowly, as driver's strain to see the blue water and bright white sand.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This historic property stretches beach to bay with outstanding dining, water sports and a lively bar.

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Tarpon Lodge
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch

A winding drive through Pine Island is part of the fun of getting to Tarpon Lodge. Staying here gives you a glimpse into the so-called "old Florida," days gone by, where time slows down and superb service takes over. The white lodge is surrounded by lush green grass, swaying palms, blue skies and lapping water of the Pine Island Sound. The vibe is that of a bed and breakfast with eight unique bedrooms, original wood floors, a fireplace, a cozy bar, and a top-rated restaurant. For guests who want larger accommodations and more privacy, the property offers a two-bedroom boathouse and a private cottage. Take a boat from the marina to neighboring barrier islands for the day. This is a place to unplug and enjoy the one you're with.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This is Old Florida at it's best. Rustic, charming, waterfront accommodations in an historic lodge with fantastic dining; perfect for unplugging and relaxing.

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Luminary Hotel & Co., Autograph Collection
Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Luminary Hotel & Co.

Downtown Fort Myer's newest hotel, this 12-story boutique property is the toast of the town. Adjacent to the Caloosa Sound Convention Center, the back of the hotel faces the downtown action, while in the front are Centennial Park and the Caloosahatchee River, for relaxing views. Find the best sunset views at Beacon Social Drinkery, the hotel's rooftop lounge. An indoor/outdoor fitness center and spacious pool are on the fourth floor; the deck is famous for monthly full moon parties. Dining is a big deal here with The Workshop, an innovative culinary laboratory, and the sophistictated Silver King Ocean Brasserie. You'll also find a coffee shop where beans are roasted fresh daily, and a southern diner. It's the perfect location for enjoying all that downtown has to offer.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Brand new to the skyline of downtown Fort Myers, it offers a chic rooftop bar, fine dining and a water view.

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Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina
Photo courtesy of Courtesy Pink Shell Resort

This full-service resort on Fort Myers Beach truly has a little something for everyone with wide beaches, a bayfront marina, bike and boat rentals, restaurants, kids programs and a rejuvenating spa. Among other things, the Pink Shell is famous for it's giant Octopool, a refreshing water experience for both kids and adults. There are a plethora of water sports offered here but once you've had enough, you can retreat to the Aquagene Spa for some TLC and delicious smelling body products. Regardless of whether you stay in a studio, villa or condo, you'll have a view of the beach. The Pink Shell is perfectly situated on the north end of touristy Fort Myers Beach, a short trolley ride from the Town Square where people-watching is unparalleled and entertainment is plentiful. And just far enough away to offer a peaceful night's sleep.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Located on tip of Fort Myers Beach, this resort has the right mix of the islands festive energy with a dash of serenity.

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Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa
Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort

This award-winning resort is much more than a beach destination near Fort Myers, its secluded location and wealth of amenities. The beautifully manicured grounds come alive at night with tiki torches and twinkling lights. It's also well-appointed for business travelers, as well as families with its on-site water park and associated activities. Rejuvenate at the luxurious, full-service Stillwater Spa, hop aboard the water taxi for the hotel's pristine, private island beach or enjoy exhilarating slides at the hotel's water park. Stylish suites and guest rooms overlook gardens and the breathtaking Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve. Whether for romance, business or family vacation, you'll find everything you need here, with the type of hospitality you might expect from such a stellar resort.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This hotel has it all; a private beach, water park, wildlife preserves, a spectacular spa and fantastic dining options.

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South Seas Island Resort
Photo courtesy of South Seas Resort

This luxurious, beautifully manicured beach-to-bay resort is situated on the northernmost two and a half miles of exclusive Captiva Island. Once you check-in, ditch your car keys and take a trolley from point to point. Or rent a golf cart or bicycle to get around if you desire. There are multiple lodging options including hotel rooms facing the bay and the marina, villas facing the Gulf of Mexico for spectacular sunsets, villas surrounding the tennis court with a private swimming pool and cottages around the nine-hole golf course, skimmed by the pristine gulf waters. Activities for kids are plentiful and the dining is delectable. Book sunset cruises and private excursions to explore nearby islands and all that the area has to offer.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Taking up most of the Northern part of Captiva Island, this resort is secluded with golf, tennis, boating, peaceful beaches and the most amazing sunset views.

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Meet Gina Birch

Gina carries the rare title of "Native Floridian". Living in Southwest Florida for more than 20 years, she is a well known, award winning radio and TV personality. She also writes for a number...  More About Gina